Team facing tough rematch against powerful Stallions
The Sudbury Gladiators can ride the coattails of perhaps their most solid victory of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) season into the playoffs.
Good thing, because the road ahead will not be easy.
Sudbury started quickly, scoring on their opening drive as QB Hunter Holub found wideout Jon Landry on the tail-end of a 15-yard touchdown pass. Aaron Campbell not only added the extra point, but also increased the lead to 8-0 when he hoofed the ensuing kickoff into the end zone.
Campbell would remain active, adding a second quarter field goal to give the Gladiators an 11-0 lead at the half, and splitting the uprights on two more occasions in the second half, including one FG from 32 yards out.
Holub went to the air, with success, a second time, adding a third-quarter strike to Devyn Chenier as the visiting Sudburians worked the advantage up to 24-0 before Nipissing broke the goose-egg with under two minutes to play.
"We wanted to build on last week," said Sudbury head coach Reg Bonin, alluding to a key 16-13 victory over the North Halton Crimson Tide. "We wanted to go in and show some consistency from week to week, and I think we did a good job of that.
"Our defense played very well throughout the game. North Bay's defense was strong, and it's a well prepared group. I liked how our offensive line played today. We won the battle of field position, and we were able to run the ball."
The Gladiators now travel to Barrie to face the Huronia Stallions, the same team that laid a 45-1 whooping on the locals in Sudbury back in Week Five.
"If we play like we played the last two weeks, we're going to be OK," said Bonin. "I like our chances. Although we got beat pretty bad (vs Huronia), and we played far from a good game, we were still very much in that game until we gave up the fake field goal for a touchdown."
North Halton actually claimed first place in the Conference with a record of 7-1, followed by Huronia (6-2), Sudbury (5-2-1) and the Toronto Jr Argos (4-3-1).
"We wanted to play our best ball at the end of the season, and we're doing that right now," summarized Bonin. "We're right where we wanted to be."